John Piper – What will you do your last 2 days?

5PIPER12xx.jpgCloseness to God at the end of your life does not remove the need or the desire to read and be spiritually nourished.  2 Timothy 4:13 „When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, and my scrolls, especially the parchments.” Now, we do not know what these are. But, the scrolls and the parchments are both plural,  which suggests to me it’s more than the Bible, it could be his own notes, for all I know. He kept notes, and he wanted his notes. He could be working on messages or it could be Scripture, or it could be books about the Scripture, or things he’d written in his journal to help him understand the Scriptures. We don’t know. But, what we know is here’s a man, who is enjoying sweet, close, fellowship with Jesus- „The Lord stood by him- I’ve got the Lord standing by me, and my life is getting ready to be poured out as an offering. I’m not long for this world”.

Now, at that point I would be inclined to say, so what’s with the theological education? I mean you are gonna be known, even as you are known in about 2 weeks. (Speaking here about Pauls impending death). Why would you wanna read anything?  You’re going to see Him face to face. That’s what I would ask. Then I back up and I think a minute. That’s what you are supposed to do with a Bible, think about it- go over what I say Timothy, the Lord will give you  understanding,

What are you gonna do in your last two days?

Doctor says you got a week, maybe. You can call up your wife and you could say, „Would you get my copy of Edwards?” Yes, yes. You think I’m joking? Nobody, nobody on the planet gets you in touch with Jesus, outside the Bible, than Jonathan Edwards.  Yes, I wanna read a sermon from this man who has ministered to my soul like nobody’s ministered to my soul as I get ready to meet my Jesus. You pick your own favorite helper. My point is, it doesn’t follow to say, „Okay, in a few days, I’m gonna see him face to face, so I don’t need the book anymore. You do need the book. „The book” and books. You need them both, because those are the means by which you die well. They’re not superfluous. „Bring the books and bring the parchments. I have a few weeks left to live, and they help me die.

(Turning to the seminary students of SBC: You’re all in school, and that’s a good place to be for a season, and I hope you stay in love with God centered Bible saturated, Christ exalting literature ‘til you breathe your last.)

R C Sproul – What Does „Inspiration” Mean in 2 Timothy 3:16

photo via http://www.joeyrodgers.com

R. C. Sproul: In the church, we have a doctrine called INSPIRATION.  And the english translation of 1 Timothy 3:16 uses the term inspiration. But, I think that we must make a distinction  between the use of the term ‘inspiration’ here and the way it’s used theologically in the history of the church. Because, as Dr. B. B. Warfield once pointed out so eloquently, the real meaning of this text here in 2 Timothy 3:16, has to do, not so much with the way in which God communicated His information to us through the human writers, but rather, the emphasis in this text is on the source of that information.

rc sproul 2Paul is using the word theopneust, when he says ‘all Scripture is given by inspiration’. Literally, what this means is God-breathed. And it means, that which God has breathed out, rather than that which God breathes in. Now, you notice I had to pause and breathe. In order for me to speak, I have to have breath in my lungs. And while I’m speaking, if I continue to speak and don’t take a breath while I continue to speak, pretty soon I start squeaking like a mouse and I run out of breath. I have to breathe. Because when I speak, I’m breathing out. And in order to breathe out, I must first breathe in.

Now, the force of what Paul is saying here, is that he is saying that all of Scripture is breathed out from God. When we breathe out we are involved in expiration- not in the sense of dying, but, we expire at death because we breathe out for the last time. We don’t breathe in anymore. But, to breathe out is expiration, whereas to breathe in is inspiration. So, really, if we were getting real technical here, we should translate this phrase that „all Scripture is given by expiration”. Now, so what? What’s the difference between expiration and inspiration here? Again, the point that I’m jealous to make here is that what Paul is saying, when he insists that all Scripture has been breathed out by God is that its ultimate origin is in Him. It is His word. It is His speech. He is the one who is the source of these writings.

And so, when we talk about the doctrine of inspiration, we’re talking about the way in which God superintends the writing of sacred Scripture. That God does not just act and let people respond with their own insight and their own imagination to set forth their view of  what God has done. But, that God is working by the Holy Spirit to superintend that record to make sure that the record that is written is His word.

All Scripture Is Breathed Out by God, Continue in It

John Piper Sermon from Scripture: 2 Timothy 3:14–17 on August 11, 2012. Click here for transcript, or to watch it or listen to the mp3 on the DesiringGod.org website.

2 Timothy 3:14–17

But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it 15 and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

The God-breathed Bible aims to make us godly. To make us doers of good in this world. Don’t miss that. The doctrines of the Bible are designed to produce deeds. Good deeds. And they do it by teaching, verse 16, and that teaching has three sequential effects: Reproof, correction, and training in righteousness.

When we are rightly taught by the Scripture are first reproved, that is, our errors are pointed out and we are stopped in our tracks. Then we are corrected, that is, we are turned around from the harmful way we were going, and pointed in the right way. And third, we are trained in righteousness, that is, the Bible enables us to be trained, to grow, in righteousness. And as the teaching does these three things (reproof, correction, training) the Scripture equips us for every good deed.

So, Timothy, don’t forsake your mother’s teaching. Continue in it. Stay in it. Remain in it.

  1. Because of the character of the people who taught you the truth.
  2. Because of the marks of divine holiness in the Scriptures.
  3. Because of the power of Scripture to make you wise unto salvation.
  4. Because the Scripture brought you to Christ.
  5. Because all Scripture is God-breathed.
  6. And because the Scripture is profitable—inestimably profitable

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